Marlene is a freshman at one of the high schools offering the QUESTion Class. At the end of the Fearlessness pillar, she wrote these answers in response to some questions that her teacher posed. It wasn’t too hard for us to determine that her wisdom needed a larger audience than just her teacher. Enjoy!


Why Fearlessness?

Fearlessness is the ability to be brave, even when no one else is. It is to have the strength to stand out when everyone else chooses to blend in. The significance of fearlessness surrounds the idea of courage. Fearlessness allows people to be themselves. In a society where everyone conforms to certain standards, this is often hard to do. People fear being different, as they don’t know how others will look at them. Fearlessness is important in this case, as it encourages people to have the courage to stand out. Aside from this, fearlessness also allows people to do anything. Life is full of opportunity and choices. Our choices allow us to gain new opportunities, which open new doors for us. People are often afraid to take these opportunities, because they don’t know whether the outcome will be good or bad. Fearlessness is important in these cases, as it pushes you to have the courage to make sacrifices and take the opportunities that will lead you to success.


What does it mean to forge your own path?

To forge your own path is to shape your own life. It is to choose how you want to live your life, what you want your purpose to be, and how you decide to use your courage to fulfill it. In other words, forging your own path means that you can create your life with what you want to do. Forging your own path puts you in control of your own life. It allows you to live life to your fullest potential, and to your own satisfaction.


What are some challenges of forging your own path?

People are often afraid of going their own way. They instead follow the guides of those around them or those of society. They fear the concept of going their own way because it presents many challenges. For example, forging your own path may not always be the right path. To further elaborate, we may have an idea of where we want to go in life, however, we may fear that this is not the way that will positively affect us. Another challenge is criticism. Going one’s own way is an idea of that individual. Others may reject this idea, as it is either different from or conflicts with those of society. Despite these challenges, it is still important to go your own way, as having the courage to do so will allow you to either gain new opportunities or learn from your mistakes.

As individuals we often try to forge our own path, despite the challenges we face. Our challenges are not limited to those we create for ourselves, but can also be from those around us. For example, a challenge one may face while forging their own path is pressure from parents or friends. Parents and friends tend to have a strong influence on your life. They pressure you to be a certain way and follow a certain path, as “that will lead you success.” This is a challenge, as their influence conflicts with the idea of “forging your own path.” To forge your own path is to create your own life. This means to decide how you want to live your life, on your terms, and with your ideas. The influence of others pressures you to concur with their ideas, disregarding your own. Another challenge of forging your own path is dealing with criticism. While some people may accept how you choose to live your life, others will reject it, as it is too different from theirs. Society has its own expectations of how you should live your life according to where you’re from and how you look. These expectations are believed to be fulfilled, but only because we lack the courage to prove them wrong. Therefore, we should not let challenges preclude our ability to forge our own path.


What do you want to do after high school? What are the challenges that come with this?

After high school, I want to attend college. I am not yet sure what I will major in, but I am interested in law and political science Although I want to attend college, there are challenges I will face. Some may be money or pressure. College tuition may be a challenge because I might not be able to afford it. A solution to this is to work hard in high school, and get a good GPA, as well as good scores on the SAT and ACT. This way, I can earn a scholarship to help with tuition. Aside from this, pressure from parents can be a challenge because they may want me to go to a specific school that I don’t like. A solution is to either choose a college that we both agree on, or convince them that I should go to the college of my choice.